UPS Store Expands 3D Printing Services

Subject: General Tech | September 23, 2014 - 06:35 PM |
Tagged: ups, ups store, 3d printer, 3d printing

If you have a few 3D objects that you would like to make physical, it might not make sense to purchase a whole MakerBot Replicator or equivalent device. To print, fax, and copy shops, the third dimension seemed like a natural extension to their business model (because it literally an upward extension on their previous service).

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

One such retailer is The UPS Store, and they just announced that their six-location test was successful. They are now expanding to "nearly 100 additional locations nationwide". Their "Find a Location" page currently lists 45 locations which, I assume, will be appended as more stores setup with the required hardware and training.

Unfortunately, being Canadian, I cannot utilize any of these yet. I could see this being mostly useful, for me, if I wanted to print out an original 3D figurine or sculpture as a gift. Others could make replacement parts and so forth.

UPS Store has not given a timeline to complete this rollout.

Source: UPS

Skip tailoring your suit, scan yourself for the perfect fit

Subject: General Tech | September 12, 2014 - 04:41 PM |
Tagged: Realsense 3D, idf 2014, 3D rendering, 3d printing

There was an interesting use of Intel's Realsense 3D technology displayed at IDF by a company called Volumental.  By using a new product with the new style of camera it would be possible to make a 3D map of your body accurate enough to make clothing patterns from.  The example offered were a pair shoes that could be ordered online with no concerns about the fit as the shoes would be perfect for you.  That is just the beginning though, you would also be able to order a perfectly tailored suit online without ever needing to appear in person for a fitting.  It could also lead to an even worse Fappening in the future; choose your online clothing supplier carefully.  There is more here at The Inquirer.

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"The proof of concept software, called Volume Voice[sic], accurately scans parts of the human body with Intel's Realsense 3D depth cameras, which will soon feature on Intel-powered laptops and tablets. Volumental's cloud-based platform will then allow individuals to create products that are tailored to their own bodies, for example, shoes that fit perfectly without the need to try them on before buying."

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Source: The Inquirer

A kid friendly 3D printer

Subject: General Tech | June 16, 2014 - 03:22 PM |
Tagged: 3d printing, Printeer

Kids these days get all the cool toys, not just G.I. Joe's with missiles that actually fire and portable gaming devices capable of more colours than light and dark green.  Mission Street Manufacturing's Printeer is a way to get kids interested in 3D printing and creating their own masterpieces, though at an estimated $550 it will likely be limited to schools and clubs as opposed to having their own printer.  The interface is a drawing program on an iPad, something that will be quite familiar to most children but now they will have the opportunity to print out their creations.  The printer is transparent as you can see from the picture at Engadget which allows these young makers to watch their creation made right in front of their eyes, a great way to get them excited about making things and a lot more fun than ShrinkyDinks!

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"If Mission Street Manufacturing's Printeer hits its crowdfunding goal, though, children will have a 3D printer they can truly call their own. All you need to create a plastic masterpiece with Printeer is an iPad and a basic ability to draw. There's no scary-looking CAD programs or other intermediary tools."

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Source: Engadget

The secret center to these 3D printed metal objects

Subject: General Tech | July 9, 2013 - 03:04 PM |
Tagged: 3d printing

3D printers are becoming familiar objects to even those not obsessed with technology, perhaps in part because of the kerfuffle over a certain blueprint allowing for the creation of a gun but also because they are interesting enough to capture anyone's imagination.  3D printing using metal is the obvious next step but as liquefying metal tends to create a rather dangerous environment developers have had to come up with new ideas.  At Hack a Day you can read about a project that has been printing metal globes and wires using a mixture of 75% gallium and 25% indium which is liquid at room temperature and quickly oxidizes a shell when exposed to air.  Perhaps not the most solid of construction materials but a very interesting step towards home 3D printing with metal.

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"While 3D printers of today are basically limited to plastics and resins, the holy grail of desktop fabrication is printing with metal. While we won’t be printing out steel objects on a desktop printer just yet, [Collin Ladd], [Ju-Hee So], [John Muth], and [Michael D. Dickey] from North Carolina State University are slowly working up to that by printing objects with tiny spheres of liquid metal."

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Source: Hack a Day

Colorful Raspberry Pi Cases and Set Up Kits Emerge

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 21, 2012 - 10:41 PM |
Tagged: Raspberry Pi, case, 3d printing

The Raspberry Pi Foundation recently released their ARM powered Linux computer; however, the accompanying case will not be available until later this year. As a result, many enthusiasts are stepping up to the plate to design and fabricate cases of their own for the Raspberry Pi board. Previously, Marco Alici designed a white case with Raspberry Pi logo that could be produced using injection molding techniques (or 3D printers). Now, a new site called Mod My Pi has emerged to offer modders some alternative cases along with start up kits full of all the accessories people need to get their Raspberry Pi board up and running.

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Based in the UK, the Raspberry Pi enthusiasts are employing 3D printing technology to produce customizable cases based on ABS Plastic. Further, they are offering up a variety of color choices including blue, red, green, black, and white. Customers can choose two colors to mix an match, one for the top of the case and another for the bottom. The cases are form fitting and are designed to be dust and water resistant. They come as two parts that snap together to nestle the Raspberry Pi board safely. The bottom and side opposite the Ethernet jack provide plenty of vent holes to keep the board from overheating.

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If you have a design idea including a specific color or specific logo that you would like to incorporate into your Raspberry Pi case, Mod My Pi has stated that it is willing to work with customers to allow customization of cases to make them even more personalized.

The cases are currently up for pre-order, but are set to begin shipping via First Class Royal Mail for UK orders or through Royal Mail Airmail Small Packets for International orders. Shipping prices will be £1.99 for both UK and International orders, though International orders will naturally take a bit longer to arrive.

In addition to cases, Mod My Pi has put together a start up kit for those in the UK to complement the Raspberry Pi that includes everything a user will need to get the ARM computer up and running, except a display of course. The kit features a Raspberry Pi case, an 8 GB SD card with Debian Linux distribution, small wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, powered 7 port USB 2.0 hub, USB Wi-Fi dongle, USB card reader, 5 V 1000mA UK AC power adapter, micro USB to USB cable, RCA video and audio cables, HDMI cable, and Ethernet cable.

The setup kit is priced at £64.99 including VAT taxes and has a UK only shipping price of £4.99.

Even better, Mod My Pi is donating 5% of all sales of cases, and all profits from Mod My Pi stickers to the official Raspberry Pi Foundation (the charity behind the Raspberry Pi computer). Have you received your Raspberry Pi pre-orders yet? What will you be using for a case, will you be DIYing your own, or will you going with someone else's design?  On an unrelated note, there is so much Raspberry Pi in this news post, that I'm getting pretty hungry!

More Raspberry Pi reading:

Source: Mod My Pi

A Case For The Raspberry Pi Linux Computer

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 7, 2012 - 04:58 PM |
Tagged: Raspberry Pi, cases, computing, 3d printing

Marco Alici is not only eagerly awaiting his Raspberry Pi computer, but he is so excited that he has already started mocking up a case for it using Blender software and basic measurements of the Raspberry Pi board.

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The case is a form fitting white plastic affair that has cutouts for each of the ports and an etched Raspberry Pi logo on the top. He states that because the Raspberry Pi has been designed to be as low cost as possible, the placement of connectors on the PCB makes for a less than ideal case. The RCA jack in particular juts out quite a bit from the casing, for example. Also the Raspberry Pi PCB does not have mounting holes to make attaching the case easy; Mr Alici had to come up with a snap-fit assembly to get around that issue.

The renderings of the case were made using Blender and Yafaray. He says that he is still waiting on his physical Rasberry Pi board to finalize the design and make it available for 3D printing at Shapeways. The case further is able to be constructed using injection molding, which he says makes for a cheap to produce case. More photos are available here.  Now, if only I had a 3D printer!

Source: Marco Alici